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Author Topic: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver  (Read 8378 times)

zonka

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Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« on: December 16, 2018, 04:50:09 pm »

I may be missing some settings but I keep getting the error that the file can't be played back with the current settings.  I know my DAC can handle up and through DSD 512 (Gustard X22).   I am using an i7 Broadwell cpu (16 gb ram) so I figured it had enough power for the conversion.  I have it set to Bitstream "Yes" but no PCM to DSD playback options work.  I am using XMOS ASIO player that should support it (as mentioned prior).
Are there other settings I need to adjust?
Thanks
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blgentry

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2018, 05:12:48 pm »

Kinda confused.  Do you want to bitstream DSD?  That would send DSD as DSD to your DAC.  Typically you would then send PCM as PCM also.  So no conversion.  But your thread title says you want to convert PCM to DSD.  I understand that some people think that the converted audio sounds different and more euphonic.  I guess I can understand why you'd want that. 

Which of these things are you trying to do?

Brian.
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zonka

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2018, 07:57:23 pm »

I think I've mixed myself up. I want to convert PCM to native DSD to see if there is an improvement. May or may not be but I'd like to hear:)
Thanks for any tips you can offer..
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dtc

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2018, 10:12:42 pm »

To convert PCM to DSD on the fly, use DSP Studio - Output Formatting - Output Encoding. I would start with 2xDSD. Select either DoP or Native - it depends on what your DAC accepts. Turn off DSD Bitstreaming.  You might also want to check the settings in the ASIO driver, under Audio - Audio Device.

Note the Output Encoding will convert everything to DSD and if you have native DSD tracks, it may convert them from DSD to PCM and back to DSD.  But it is a good way to give PCM to DSD a try. Alternatively,you can use the Convert function in Library tools to convert some PCM tracks to DSD files and play those directly, using Bitstreaming.
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zonka

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2018, 09:17:24 am »

I probably should have described my setup in case that is causing the problem.
I have one instance of JRiver on my main computer in another room running as the server. I have another running as a client via ethernet at my stereo setup connected to my DAC. This is where I'm having the trouble.
So I'm wondering if there are any specific settings I may need on my server side version, feeding my client?
Thanks:)
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dtc

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2018, 09:50:17 am »

Does Output Encoding work on the client system if you use a local file?

I have not tried output encoding on a client system, but it seems like it should work. Other DSD studio commands on the client work.
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zonka

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2018, 10:04:59 am »

I should add a track on my htpc hard drive and see if that conversion will work. That will not help with the main problem though since all my tracks are on my main computer but at least I'll be able to narrow it down to a client issue if a local file can be converted.
Thanks for the suggestion:)
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dtc

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2018, 01:55:15 pm »

i would try it with a local file using the local library on the client system.
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zonka

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2018, 04:48:23 pm »

Tried a local file with same issue....nothing. The error says "playback could not be started on the output ASIO using the format 88.2khz 2ch.

Does that error mean anything to anyone?
Thanks
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Awesome Donkey

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2018, 04:57:59 pm »

You might have to use DSP Studio > Output Format and change the 88.2 kHz input to a different output sample rate depending on what DAC supports.
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zonka

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2018, 05:13:13 pm »

It plays 88.2 fine. I'm trying to convert everything to DSD in dsp>output this is the error I get back.
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dtc

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2018, 05:19:07 pm »

Something is clearly wrong. The 88.2 khz is a problem. That is not a DSD sample rate. It does not look like you are encoding to DSD. Or, if you are then it is being downsampled somehow. In DSP Studio in Output Formatting - Output Encoding you should have 2x DSD in Native Format (requires ASIO and 2xDSD capable DAC) checked.

I do not generally use Output Encoding and cannot check it now. But, you should try it with DSD bitstreaming enabled and disabled.  OK, I wrestled the main system away from the wife's Christmas carols for a few minutes, and having bitstreaming checked or not does not make any difference when using Output Encoding.

Also, you can try playing a DSD file directly. Import it into your local library, then turn off Output Encoding, check DSD in Bitstreaming in the Audio Setup. You can copy a DSD file  from here. Try one of the 2.8Mhz or 5.6 KHz files.

http://www.2l.no/hires/index.html


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dtc

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2018, 05:24:19 pm »

Looking at the documentation online your DAC only supports 4xDSD over usb. It needs IIS to do 8x.  Also, over usb it looks like it only supports native DSD, not DoP, put that specification is ambiguous. But I would stick to 1x or 2x DSD until you get it working.
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zonka

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2018, 06:23:01 pm »

Thanks for the research....I will gladly stick to those if I can get it working:)
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dtc

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2018, 08:11:39 pm »

Are you using the Gustard X22 ASIO driver? If so, you might want to re-install it. A bad ASIO driver might cause your problems.  I looked at the download page but the one I found was in Chinese.  Playing a native DSD directly would help narrow this down.
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zonka

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2018, 05:01:31 pm »

I found and loaded the latest driver for my DAC.  Here's where I am.  I tried a local file and found a .dff file and it played from both the local library and over my network but only in a DoP container (which shouldn't be the case.....my DAC is supposed to handle DoP or no DoP).  I still can't convert a non DSD file on the fly.
I'm so frustrated because this DAC says it should handle dsd (without DoP) and my i7 processor should be enough to handle it....I've read in forums for this DAC about how well it plays DSD so I know it is capable.
Any other ideas?  Any buffering settings or other obscure settings I may not have set properly?  My device settings doesn't really have many options so not much to change there.

Any/all help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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dtc

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2018, 05:32:49 pm »

The documentation I found on your DAC was ambiguous on whether it supported DoP or Direct or both over usb. For all the other inputs, it specifies DoP and/or Native, but does not say anything about format for usb.  Sincef it supports DSD256 over usb, you would think it would do that natively, not through DoP, given that it would need to support 705 KHz PCM to support DSD256 in DoP, and it does not seem to support that sample rate.

DoP and native DSD produce the exact same result at the DAC. The only difference is how the DSD bits are bundled in order to send them over the usb.  So, if you can play DoP files then I would stick with that.

Are you saying you still get an error when you play a local PCM file from the local library converted to DSD in DoP format using Output Encoding?  If so, can you provide a screen shot of you Audio Settings, your DSP Studio Output Formatting settings and the Audio Path error. 

You can also try using WASAPI rather than ASIO. It does not support Direct DSD, but should do DoP fine.

Something does not make sense.




Digital Input:

Coaxial:

PCM:16-24bit /44.1、48、88.2、96、176.4、192 kHz

DOP:DOP64

 
Optical:

PCM:16-24bit /44.1、48、88.2、96、176.4、192 kHz

DOP:DOP64

AES/EBU:

PCM:16-24bit /44.1、48、88.2、96、176.4、192 kHz

DOP:DOP64

 
IIS:

PCM:16-32bit /44.1、48、88.2、96、176.4、192、352.8、384kHz

DSD Native:DSD64、DSD128、DSD256、DSD512

DSD DOP:DOP64、DOP128  DOP256

 

USB:16-32bit / 44.1、48、88.2、96、176.4、192、352.8、384 kHz

DSDx64、DSDx128、DSD256

 
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dtc

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2018, 05:34:07 pm »

Also, be sure you have the volume in MC set to maximum. Some systems do not work if the volume is at less than maximum, but that usually does not cause an error, just no music.
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zonka

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2018, 08:06:09 pm »

Yes, I get an error every time I attempt a pcm to DSD or DoP of any kind. I can't figure it out and it is driving me nuts. I bought this minipc purely because it was an i7 and read it was necessary for Dsd conversion on the fly.
Is there any chance this is a Windows 10 problem?
If it bitstreamed a .dff file, probably not but I'm at a loss.
Thanks for all your help and your suggestions:)
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dtc

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2018, 08:21:06 pm »

If you have memory playback on, try turning it off.
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dtc

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2018, 09:24:48 pm »

Here are some screen shots of my setup. How does it compare?

If you have bitstreaming for DSD on, hit Custom and make sure it is set to bitstream all sample rates.
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zonka

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2018, 06:37:16 am »

My settings pretty much look the same.
I'm starting to think this may be a driver issue. The link below makes me think the stereo XMOS ASIO driver I'm using can only do DoP, when I've read elsewhere what great native DSD people are getting from this DAC.
Is your DAC a usb connection?
If so do have you XMOS driver you can send me to try?
Here's the link:
https://www.xmos.com/developer/support/software/uac2/driver-support

Thank, again, for all your help.
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zonka

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2018, 07:56:39 am »

I just got an email from gustard support. It said xmos driver can't play native dsd...? I wonder what the point of the driver is then? If the dac can support native dsd with usb, how does it do so? Should I delete the driver and try to reconnect the dac without running the software?
This is weird....
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Awesome Donkey

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2018, 08:05:50 am »

It depends. The driver (which seems to be the case here) provides an ASIO driver, which is very useful if WASAPI isn't a viable option (or you want the crazy low latencies an ASIO driver can provide). Also, the driver might provide support for USB Audio Class 2.0 (which allows sample rates above 96 kHz) if you're using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. If you're using Windows 10 (at least the Creators Update if not a newer update) it has native support for USB Audio Class 2.0 so unless you need the ASIO driver then you probably don't need their drivers.

BTW, DoP IS native DSD as the end result is exactly the same.
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zonka

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2018, 08:41:28 am »

That all sounds good but doesn't JRiver say to convert pcm to native dsd one needs ASIO?
My DAC supports higher dsd rates in native than DoP.
I will try to remove the driver and just re-connect the dac and see what happens, I guess.
Is ASIO superior to WASAPI in JRiver?
Thanks for your help:)
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Awesome Donkey

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2018, 09:04:43 am »

No, ASIO handles both PCM and DSD just fine (depending on the DAC, of course). As for converting PCM to DSD, personally, I wouldn't do that unless the DAC was DSD-only. Your DAC supports both PCM and DSD, so there's no reason to convert PCM to DSD unless you choose to do so. But if you do, make sure you know that doing PCM to DSD conversions (especially multichannel content) is one of the most resource intensive tasks done in JRiver Media Center. But if you want to leave PCM as PCM and DSD as DSD then as long as DSD bitstreaming is enabled (and you're not using any DSP Studio > Output Format settings to convert everything to DSD or anything else like that) it should handle both just fine.

The DoP limit corresponds with the maximum sample rate supported by your DAC, which is needed to pack the DSD stream into a PCM stream (then it's unpacked/decoded at the DAC back to native DSD). So the higher the DSD content (e.g. DSD256 or DSD512) then your DAC has to support a high enough sample rate for DoP to work with those type of files. Even so, DSD content over DSD128 is kinda rare, and I don't personally see the point. In fact, the majority of DSD content I've seen available for purchase and/or download is DSD64 (which includes SACDs and the rips done from SACDs). I'm not saying there's no DSD256 or DSD512 content out there because there is, but those are rare and it's just I find those to be kinda pointless and just waste hard drive space, in my opinion. Honestly, I find anything above DSD64 to be pointless but again that's just my opinion.

So, is ASIO superior to WASAPI? It depends and it's based on your own opinion and preference. Personally, I use ASIO over WASAPI for playing back all my PCM content due to the lower latency options but that doesn't mean WASAPI (or more specifically WASAPI Exclusive) is "bad" or "worse" or anything like that. It's just a matter of personal preference. I do have to use WASAPI with my DSD DoP DAC though because there's no ASIO support for it. But fortunately MC's ZoneSwitch feature comes in handy there allowing me to switch between my two DACs depending if I'm playing PCM content or DSD content automatically. But, unless I recall correctly, WASAPI only supports DoP and that support probably depends on the DAC supporting DoP over WASAPI as well.
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dtc

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2018, 09:13:29 am »

A little about "native" DSD and DoP. Native DSD refers to the transmission process and means that the signal is sent  at the DSD sample rate, such as 2.8Mhz, 5.6Mhz or11.2 MHz. Usb can support those rates if the driver supports them and the input on the DAC supports them.  However, that is not always the case and, especially for MACs, those sample rates are not supported.  Therefore the DoP (DSD over PCM) was developed. The dsd bits are packed into a PCM format, sent over usb and unpacked by the DAC. 2.8 MHz DSD is sent as 24 bit 176 KHz PCM, 5.6 MHx as 352 KHz, and 11.2 KHz as 705 KHz.  Once unpacked the DSD bits at the DAC are exactly the same no matter which way they are send, native or DoP.  DoP uses 16 of the 24 bits in a PCM sample for DSD bits. So, 2,8224,000/16 = 176,400  and the others are just 2 times and 4 times that.  That is how the PCM frequencies are set.  Note "native" refers to the transmission method, not the actual data bits.

Since your driver does not support native DSD transmission you need to stick to DoP. That should be fine for 2.8 and 5.6 MHz DSD. To support 11.2 MHz, you would need 705 Khz for DoP. The documentation does not say that your DAC supports 705 KHz, so I would leave that aside for now.

On Windows 10, as AD said, you do not need the Class 2 driver, so the XMOS driver may not be needed.  You might be able to use the native windows drivers with WASAPI.

ASIO is often considered a superior driver structure, because it has super low latency and supports the high bit rates of native DSD transmission. But, when transmitting typical PCM data, they are pretty much equivalent for most practical purposes.

Still not sure what your problem is, since DoP seems to work at least for your dff file. It might be a driver problem specific to Windows 10.  I would try removing the XMOS driver and using WASAPI.
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zonka

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2018, 09:15:54 am »

Great info - thanks. Like many of us, I'm always searching for better sound and I've read in numerous posts elsewhere what a great improvement there is when pcm is converted to dsd  (as high as the hardware will allow). I'm skeptical,  but I need to hear it for myself, then I can move on with a clear mind:)
That's my goal here - pcm to dsd on the fly to see if there's any improvement (like I said, I doubt it, but I've got to know:)
Hopefully, deleting the xmos driver will clear things up. By the way, how would I go about deleting the driver? If I delete the device in win10 control panel will that also delete the driver for me (or are they the same thing)?
Thanks, again, for your expertise!
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Awesome Donkey

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2018, 09:19:21 am »

You can probably remove the driver from Add/Remove Programs in Windows. But keep in mind, there's a chance you might need ASIO for DoP to work, unless DoP via WASAPI works with your DAC. But it's worth checking out and seeing if you can do without it.

I've converted PCM to DSD before, and honestly I couldn't tell any difference. To be even more honest, I don't hear any difference between PCM or DSD either. I guess that means I wasn't gifted with "golden ears". ;)

BTW, PCM to DSD conversions and DSD to PCM conversions are both "lossy" conversions. There's no lossless conversion possible between either PCM or DSD.
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dtc

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2018, 09:29:16 am »

You should be able to just pick WASAPI in the Audio settings when you select the Audio Device - something like Gustav X22 [WASAPI].  Then, I would check to see if you can send a 176 or 352 KHz PCM file. If that works, then move on to converting to DSD.

Converting to DSD is a personal thing. Whether an individual prefers the sound or not depends on both the equipment, including the DAC, and the users hearing and preference.   Some of that preference can depend on the filter settings on the DAC. One size does not fit all here. Otherwise, we would have the same equipment and we would all be a lot richer :)
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zonka

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2018, 09:36:14 am »

Agree on both posts above. I wish I could let it go.....
What I already have sounds fantastic, but I want more!
A curse many of us share, unfortunately. I know I'm not gifted with golden ears either:) I guess we should be glad for that or things would get even more expensive and, as a high school math teacher, I can't afford it!
I want to check this box and move on!
I should be smarter than to fall to these temptations after all my years on this planet (51)!
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RoderickGI

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #31 on: December 20, 2018, 03:42:41 pm »

A little about "native" DSD and DoP. <snip>

I love it when you guys get all nerdy.

In fact, I loved that post so much dtc that I added it to the "More" section of the DSD Wiki page. I hope you don't mind.
https://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/DSD#More
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What specific version of MC you are running:MC27.0.27 @ Oct 27, 2020 and updating regularly Jim!                        MC Release Notes: https://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Release_Notes
What OS(s) and Version you are running:     Windows 10 Pro 64bit Version 2004 (OS Build 19041.572).
The JRMark score of the PC with an issue:    JRMark (version 26.0.52 64 bit): 3419
Important relevant info about your environment:     
  Using the HTPC as a MC Server & a Workstation as a MC Client plus some DLNA clients.
  Running JRiver for Android, JRemote2, Gizmo, & MO 4Media on a Sony Xperia XZ Premium Android 9.
  Playing video out to a Sony 65" TV connected via HDMI, playing digital audio out via motherboard sound card, PCIe TV tuner

dtc

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #32 on: December 20, 2018, 09:09:17 pm »

Glad to provide some technical detail. However, once you have to do that, the technology has failed. The average user should never have to worry about such things. They should just work.

The real challenge is to get zonka's system to work.
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JimH

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #33 on: December 20, 2018, 09:59:09 pm »

The average user wouldn't be trying such a thing.
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zonka

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2018, 11:16:56 pm »

Update!  Success, but still some frustration.  So it turns out the XMOS driver was causing the problems.  I deleted it and I'm getting 4x DoP DSD conversion on the fly with no problems at all.  As for whether or not it sounds better....I'll have to give it a few days, but it sounds great (but it did before, too).  Probably all this trouble for nothing and I'll go back to the way I had it with great high res pcm.
Here's the frustration - I know DoP and native DSD are the same thing but JRiver won't play native DSD without an ASIO driver (which is what the Xmos driver gave me).  So how am I supposed to get 8x native DSD when it is the very ASIO driver that was causing me the problem of getting any dsd going?  Is there a special type of ASIO driver out there somewhere I'm supposed to have?  The Gustard site doesn't have it (just the XMOS one causing the problems).
Again, mark this solved as the frustration is really just academic.....I like to know the "why" as in why I can't get the max out of the DAC with their driver.  Just the math teacher in me, I guess.

One last unrelated question for you experts - is there a way to change which tags are shown when playing music in theater view?  I would love to get rid of rating and add year and album title, and time left, being counted down, in the song.

You guys that have been helping me have been awesome - I sincerely appreciate your patience and time in trying to help me get to the bottom of this.  You guys certainly know your stuff and you are invaluable to the folks on this board.

Happy Holidays to you guys, and, thanks again:)

Drew
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RoderickGI

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2018, 11:31:14 pm »

The average user should never have to worry about such things. They should just work.

The average user doesn't even read the Wiki, let alone the threads linked to down at the bottom of the articles.  ::)  But it is good not to lose reference material in the mass of threads and posts. It was more background information than a solution to the issue, and now that Zonka has a solution, others will find that. If only a few!
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What specific version of MC you are running:MC27.0.27 @ Oct 27, 2020 and updating regularly Jim!                        MC Release Notes: https://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Release_Notes
What OS(s) and Version you are running:     Windows 10 Pro 64bit Version 2004 (OS Build 19041.572).
The JRMark score of the PC with an issue:    JRMark (version 26.0.52 64 bit): 3419
Important relevant info about your environment:     
  Using the HTPC as a MC Server & a Workstation as a MC Client plus some DLNA clients.
  Running JRiver for Android, JRemote2, Gizmo, & MO 4Media on a Sony Xperia XZ Premium Android 9.
  Playing video out to a Sony 65" TV connected via HDMI, playing digital audio out via motherboard sound card, PCIe TV tuner

Awesome Donkey

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2018, 03:22:19 am »

Here's the frustration - I know DoP and native DSD are the same thing but JRiver won't play native DSD without an ASIO driver (which is what the Xmos driver gave me).  So how am I supposed to get 8x native DSD when it is the very ASIO driver that was causing me the problem of getting any dsd going?  Is there a special type of ASIO driver out there somewhere I'm supposed to have?  The Gustard site doesn't have it (just the XMOS one causing the problems).

The native DSD limitation isn't a JRiver 'issue' per-say. It's just that it's not possible to get native DSD playback working on Windows without using ASIO whereas with DoP it can work with WASAPI too. Unfortunately for you, your DAC doesn't support a high enough sample rate to allow 8X DSD via DoP whereas with native DSD with ASIO the DAC is capable of 8X DSD. So it is a conundrum, that's for sure.

If you don't want to reinstall the driver (and become a bear for punishment), then 4X DSD with DoP is probably as good as it's going to get.
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Windows 11 2024 Update (24H2) 64-bit + Ubuntu 24.04 LTS Noble Numbat 64-bit | Windows 11 2024 Update (24H2) 64-bit (Intel N305 Fanless NUC 16GB RAM/500GB M.2 NVMe SSD)
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dtc

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Re: Help with PCM to DSD conversion on the fly in JRiver
« Reply #37 on: December 21, 2018, 07:43:48 am »

Glad to hear it is working. 

Part of the design of a usb DAC is the usb interface.  One reason designers use DoP is that they can use easily available usb interface chips that do PCM.  You need a specialized chip/interface to accept the high sample rate native DSD signal and these are not as readily available.  Although I am not an XMOS expert, it is possible that the  usb interface the DAC uses (XMOS U8) is just not capable of native DSD sample rates. I found one reference that said it is an older design.  Or maybe they just never updated the driver to do native DSD. In any case, the reason the DAC does not support native DSD over usb is a design issue for Shenzhenaudio. 

It has been a long haul, but congratulations on hanging in there.

Enjoy the music, whatever you decide sounds best.

 
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